best ias books

Earth like planets, Dark matter, Mars One mission, Jahn Teller Metal, Bridgmanite

Earth like planets Kepler 438b and Kepler 442b

  • Detected by Nasa’s Kepler space telescope, verified by a computer program called Blender
  • By Scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics


Kepler 438 B Kepler 442 B
Distance 475 light years 1100 light years
Diameter 12 % bigger than Earth 33 % bigger than Earth
Completes an orbit around its star 35 days 112 days
Mean temperature 60* C 0* C
Water Availability Appropriate temp. for water flow 97%


Dark matter

  • a hypothetical kind of matter that cannot be seen with telescopes but would account for most of the matter in the universe
  • existence and properties of dark matter are inferred from its gravitational effects on visible matter, radiation, and the large-scale structure of the universe
  • Dark energy plus dark matter constitute 95.1% of the total mass–energy content of the universe
  • Dark matter cannot be seen but its huge impact can be viewed through telescopes because it bends light around galaxies creating a ring of star light known as gravitational lensing


Mars One mission

  • A non-profit organization based in the Netherlands
  • Aims to establish the first human colony on the Red Planet starting 2026

Plan – initially send 4 astronauts on a one-way trip to Mars where they would spend the rest of their lives building the first permanent human settlement; subsequent crew will depart every 26 months.

  • MIT recently questioned feasibility of Mars One mission


Mars One mission


Project Lettuce on Mars
  • Scientists at University of Southampton, UK are planning to grow lettuce on Mars by 2018
  • Will grow small plants with gases obtained from Martian atmosphere, with a minimum of material imported from Earth.

 Aim – to prove that plant life can thrive in the controlled greenhouse environment + resources on Mars can be appropriately managed to establish a permanent human settlement

  • Scientists will demonstrate their project via a payload in the form of lettuce that will be carried by Mars One Lander in 2018 by Mars one mission.


Solar powered plane Solar Impulse 2

  • 1st round-the-world flight powered by solar energy by solar impulse 2 begins from Abu Dhabi
  • Aims to create awareness about replacing old polluting technologies with clean & efficient technologies
  • Able to fly day & night on solar power, without a drop of fuel
  • Can carry just one passenger and emits precisely zero Carbon Dioxide (CO2)


SAARC Satellite by Dec 2016

  • Communication-cum-meteorology satellite by ISRO for SAARC region
  • Will have twelve ‘Ku’ transponders
  • Will have the capability to interconnect SAARC eight countries mainly during
  • Disaster monitoring constellation
  • Meteorological data decimination
  • Hot contact for the political level


UN Kalam Global Satellite 

  • A global satellite for earth observation and disaster risk reduction — GlobalSat for DRR — proposed under the UN framework is to be dedicated to A.P.J. Abdul Kalam by naming it as UN Kalam Global Sat
  • Launched on third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held at Sendai in Japan in March 2015.
  • It will provide a common platform that will allow sharing of space and data segments, with an ability to serve individual nation’s disaster management and development needs.


ISRO honoured with Gandhi Peace Prize 2015

For its contribution to the country’s development through space technology and satellite-based services

  • Gandhi Peace Prize, instituted in 1995, for social, economic & political transformation via non-violence
  • A jury consisting decides the awardee each year, consisting of :
  • Prime Minister of India
  • Chief Justice of India
  • Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha
  • 2 other eminent persons
  • Open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, creed or sex; comprises of 1 crore and a citation


ISRO’S Titanium Sponge Plant – Kerala 

  • The indigenous Titanium Sponge Plant at Chavara in Kerala has been fully commissioned and has started commercial production required for space applications
  • The national Space programme can now fully bank on made-in-India titanium sponge that goes into making its satellite and launch vehicle parts
  • This is the only integrated plant in the world that undertakes all activities right from mining of Ti minerals to manufacturing of aerospace grade Ti sponge under one roof


  • Now, India has become the seventh country in the world producing Titanium sponge commercially
  • Big saving of forex reserve as earlier India used to import titanium
  • India is endowed with the third largest reserve of Titanium bearing minerals
  • Annual requirement: 200-300 metric tonnes


Note – Titanium is required in Aerospace and Defence equipmentsdue to its high strength and non-corrosive quality


Japanese Scientists discovered new state of matter called Jahn Teller Metal

  • Matter resembles an insulator, superconductor, metal and magnet all rolled into one
  • Discovered by studying a superconductor made from carbon-60 molecules or buckyballs
  • Involves Caesium fulleride (Cs3C60) in a FCC lattice with a Cs3C60 molecule at each lattice site.
  • Could help develop new molecular materials that are superconductors at even higher temperatures



Earth’s most abundant mineral: Bridgmanite

A team of American geologists extracted a sample large enough to analyze the most abundant mineral which allowed them to name it as Bridgmanite. Up to now, the mineral was referred to as perovskite as according to rules set down by the International Mineralogical Association, a mineral cannot be given a formal name until a specimen has been found that can be examined first hand.

  • Made up of high-density magnesium iron silicate
  • 70 % of the earth’s lower mantle and 38 % of the total volume of earth


World’s thinnest light bulb using Graphene as filament

  • This Graphene light is low cost with a relatively simple structure
  • The ability for the super-thin material to produce light is seen as a key step to create super-thin computer and TV screens


  • Graphene is composed of carbon atoms linked in a hexagonal lattice
  • Perfectly crystalline form of carbon nearly transparent
  • About 200 times stronger than steel
  • Better conductor compared to Copper
India Yearbook English India Yearbook Hindi Economic Survey 2017

1 Comment

  1. Sir please correct this ISRO was honoured with Gandhi Peace Prize in 2014 not in 2015

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